Best Practice for Class Projects

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When information is collected for a class project that does not meet the definition of "research" (as defined by the federal regulations) it is still important to inform the people you talk with about your class project.

Make sure you tell them:

  • Who you are -- introduce yourself! (This may not always be necessary, as many students enlist the help of friends or family to collect data for a class project.)
  • It is a class project.
  • What they will be asked to do. ("I would like to ask you some questions about …., . If there are any questions you don't want to answer, it is fine to skip them".)
  • How long the interview, survey, etc., may take to complete.
  • What will happen to the information you collect ("The information will be used to write my paper for the class, and I will give a presentation in class. All of my notes, surveys, etc., will be destroyed when the project is completed.")
  • If they will not be identified: examples: "I will not write your name on my notes"; "Do not write your name on the survey;" "I will not use your name in my paper."
  • That they may contact you if they have any questions (provide phone number/email).
  • Ask if they understand the information
  • Ask if they agree to participate.

You may want to have an information sheet to hand to them with all of the above information on it even though they will not sign it.

Last Updated 8/28/17

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